All routes eco-friendly by train (ÖBB & SBB & private railways)
Comfortable journey mostly in modern panorama railway cars.
Unfortunately, many impressions only last for a short time. Photos while driving are
only possible to a very limited extent.
Plan view of the scenic routes:
In any case, the few longer stays are too short.
Map of the stays:
Arrival in the ÖBB sleeping car from Vienna to Sargans.
There is no space to store the suitcases. It was only by chance that it was possible to stack the suitcases on an empty bed.
The train is stopped for a long time on the route in order to be able to offer a reasonable morning arrival time.
Pros: Drinks, breakfast, and some useful items (such as slippers) are included in the fare.
Immediately after the night train arrives: Short trip from Sargans to Chur.
Chur is often touted as a medieval city. In reality, however, the city is riddled with ugly new buildings.
A stroll through the old town is definitely worth it. Since we had more time, we also hike a bit in the surrounding area.
The next morning, the Bernina Express takes you from Chur to Tirano, Italy.
Height profile Bernina Express:
This trip is one of the highlights of the trip (UNESCO World Heritage). The section in front of St. Moritz and the one in front of Tirano are particularly impressive. You pass numerous viaducts (e.g. Landwasser Viaduct) and tunnel sections (e.g. Brusio) (also "spiral tunnel")
The railway company operates the route from Tirano to Lucarno as a bus connection.
Bus trip plan map:
The part of the drive along the north shore of Lake Como and then Lake Lugano is pretty. Unfortunately we are unlucky with the weather here - everything is gray on gray.
We cover the last short stretch from Lugano to Locarno on Lake Maggiore by train.
In Locarno the following are worth seeing:
the old town (west of the main square - Piazza Grande)
the castle ⭐ (south of the old town)
The train station and the port are also marked on the map:
Lago Maggiore + Centovalli
A really interesting day trip:
3 hour boat trip across the entire Lake Maggiore to Stresa in Italy.
The most beautiful section is reached shortly before arriving in Stresa:
The Borromean Islands⭐. Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori are the three main ones.
Then by local train to Domodossola.
Back to Locarno with the Centovalli Railway - you cross 100th valleys (= cento valli).
The most beautiful part - an impressive gorge - of the Centovalli Railway
is located in the area of the Italy / Switzerland border (Camedo station).
Map of the entire circuit from Locarno to Locarno including the Centovalli Railway:
On the same day (taking advantage of the particularly long days in July)
we take the train to Bellinzona, then the post bus to the highest castle (Sassa Corbaro).
Hiking trail down to Montebello⭐ Castle - it is the most beautiful of the three castles. From there down to town.
In the evening visit to the touristic (disfigured) Castelgrande (lift). This castle is particularly suitable for observing the evening lighting of the other two castles.
Survey map of the three castles:
In the morning it goes again with the local train to Bellinzona. Change to the Gotthard Panorama Express.
This train does not go through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, but through the Gotthard Tunnel from 1882, which is located higher up. A particularly spectacular spiral tunnel at Wassen included. Until you have overcome the required height difference, you can see the church of Wassen 3 times.
At Lake Lucerne, we switch to the ship at Flüelen.
⭐ In glorious sunshine, we enjoy the most beautiful part of the lake. Unfortunately the weather changes shortly before the end of the journey and we reach Lucerne during a violent thunderstorm.
Gotthard Panorama Express map + Lake Lucerne cruise:
The tour of Lucerne has to be canceled due to bad weather.
Note for intended short city walks
Luggage storage is a problem:
At the train stations there are often only self-service boxes that are just enough for a single normal sized suitcase. 2-3 smaller suitcases would also fit in one box. This is not insignificant, as storage (even for short use) costs 9 CHF.
From Lucerne you continue with the Zentralbahn to Interlaken. As the name suggests,
the place lies between two lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz.
Interlaken should be the starting point for a trip to the Jungfraujoch and the Schynige Platte.
Map Jungfraujoch with names of the trains:
Unfortunately, the weather is putting a spanner in the works. Nevertheless,
we travel to the Jungfraujoch, with the vague hope that the clouds will break open
at some point. They didn't do us a favor. We wait in vain for the weather to improve.
The whole day is characterized by clouds, fog and rain.
Train ride: Interlaken Ost - Lauterbrunnen -
Kleine Scheidegg - Eiger Gletscher - Jungfraujoch. Then:
walk through the ice cave, lookout tower (no view), Alpine Sensation (terrible kitsch).
Return via Eiger Glacier - cable car to Grindelwald - Train Interlaken Ost - Interlaken West.
We have to cancel Schynige Platte by necessity ...
After three nights in Interlaken, we take the Golden Pass Line
via Zweisimmen (transfer station) to Montreux on Lake Geneva.
Railway line Interlaken - Zweisimmen - Montreux:
A visit to Montreux is limited to a short stroll along the beach promenade.⭐.
1 change in Visp, then we go to Zermatt, where the sun finally awaits us. (In Interlaken the weather remains poor).
The next morning: ride to the small Matterhorn (cable car)
Stopover at Schwarzsee⭐ (wonderful view)
Terminus: Matterhorn Glacier Paradise with viewing platform⭐ - finally a view of snow-capped peaks.
Indoor: Glacier Palace, Cinema Lounge
Return to Furi, walk over the suspension bridge⭐ to the Dossen⭐ glacier garden,
from Furi by cable car to Zermatt.
Description of the route:
The path marked „Gletschergarten“ begins next to the Furi station, right behind the Furi guest house.
It leads over a suspension bridge⭐ with a great view (no fear of heights) to a playground.
There you keep to the left and come to a junction to the glacier garden⭐.
After a few meters there is a marking similar to a picture puzzle as Signpost.
If you follow the red arrow you turn right through the glacier garden.
If you recognize two white arrows, you make the round in the other direction.
At the end of the round you go back to the junction and follow the bike path to the Furi station.
You can take the cable car to Zermatt or join the hike through the Gorner Gorge.
The next morning, take the cogwheel train to the Gornergrat, a small viewing round at the summit.
There is also an indoor program here: Zoom Show
Return (only one stop) to Rotenboden, from there one-hour walk over Riffelsee⭐
(beautiful reflection of the Matterhorn) to Riffelberg,
Sketch of the hike:
With the cable car to Furi, from there walk over Blatten, Gornerschlucht to Zermatt. The Gornerschlucht⭐ is definitely worth seeing.
You can also visit the gorge directly from Zermatt or join this hike to the hike to the glacier garden.
⭐ Hiking trail through the Gorner Gorge:
The entrance from Furi begins almost directly under the cable car route.
First you follow the sign "Zum See". In the tiny town of Blatten,
keep sharp right and walk through the garden of the well-frequented
restaurant (despite the remote location) to a small bridge.
From here you have the first great view of the gorge.
Note: Anyone who goes up from Zermatt should definitely hike this far - it pays off.
The gorge, made accessible with ladders and bridges, begins just before Zermatt.
Important: take cash with you!
The 5 CHF inspection fee is collected at the lower end of the gorge.
Zermatt valley station - Findelbach - Riffelalp - Riffelberg - Rotenboden - Gornergrat.
The map (railway line + cable car):
Afternoon: Matterhorn Museum right next to the church in Zermatt.
The journey home takes place on the Glacier Express. Start in Zermatt, end in Chur.
The most beautiful section of the journey is almost at the end: the Rhine Gorge⭐.
If you want to take photos: There is a car with open windows. Usually the subject is over by the time you reach this car. For the Rhine Gorge, it is always worth changing to this railroad car.
A regional train takes you from Chur to Sargans. From Sargans to Vienna with an ÖBB train.
There is WiFi on the train, but you can hardly get away from the ÖBB website.
Also, unlike in Switzerland, there is no power connection, which is likely to
overwhelm any battery if the journey lasts 7 hours.
Wishes, suggestions, criticisms or simply comments to derNachdenker@gmx.at
The contents of these pages have been carefully compiled,
but errors may still be included, for which the author assumes no liability.